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The Day Ex-Kiss Guitarist Bruce Kulick Was Almost Shot to Death

Bruce Kulick

Former Kiss guitarist Bruce Kulick almost became the next great rock tragedy, while walking with a friend on Sunset Boulevard. Two stray bullets came within a couple of inches – or less – of killing him on Oct. 16, 2003, striking him in the leg and head.

“I was in shock, as it sounded like a car backfiring and felt like a hot poker went through my leg,” Kulick says via his website. “I didn’t know what happened until paramedics … told me.”

Kulick had just seen Vince Neil perform at a club near the Rainbow Bar and Grill in Hollywood, where a fight had left one man drunk, angry and holding a loaded 9MM. He started shooting wildly, and bullets ultimately struck Kulick’s right thigh and grazed his temple. One other person was shot in the foot.

The head wound was easily treated and the medical team told Kulick the other bullet hit only flesh and muscle, not bone or arteries. By the time he got home, the news was all over CNN and MTV. “With the help of some dear friends,” Kulich adds, “I was able to heal quickly and survive a truly surreal experience.”

At the time, MTV reported that the 21-year-old gunman was tackled by a club patron and then beaten up by several members of the crowd. He was also treated at the hospital before being released to police. In February 2005, he was given 10 years in prison – which the guitarist indicates was shortened.

Kulick made a return this scary scene on the track “I Survive,” from his 2010 solo album BK3. A member of Kiss from 1984-96, Kulick went on to play guitar for Grand Funk Railroad.

Listen to Bruce Kulick Perform ‘I’ll Survive’

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